/Offbeat Summer Jobs to Keep in Mind

Offbeat Summer Jobs to Keep in Mind

Time to apply is just around the corner

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

While it may be easiest to simply apply at the local fast food joints, working an offbeat job may pay significantly more and require skills related to your future career. Finding employment in unusual places can also help better ensure that you’ll even get a job, as typical seasonal and entry-level jobs tend to fill up quickly.

“The summer job market isn’t what its used to be,” said Mike Carr, president Carr Recruiting Solutions in Baldwinsville. “As a college student, you’re competing with high school kids who are already in those positions.”

Carr said that for students who really need to earn money, they can work some “less glamorous jobs” or start their own business, which can demonstrate “ingenuity and effort” — in addition to skills in branding, marketing, promoting and personal relations.

Todd Consilio, vice president of business operations for Staffworks’ nine Central New York locations, advises students to seek whatever interning positions their school guidance counselors offer. But if those opportunities don’t work out, students should “leverage what they have: their state-of-the-art education.”

For some, that could mean less-obvious work opportunities.

Tutor. You don’t have to channel Mary Poppins, but if you can simplify your specialty and relate to children, you could help kids improve in tough subjects.

Childcare provider. If you love children and your degree is in humanities, you may be a good fit to work as a care provider for young children at home for summer vacation from pre-K and elementary school.

“Services are looking for qualified caregivers,” Consilio said. Stellar references are necessary.

Senior helper. “About 30,000 people a day are retiring,” Consilio said. “A lot of them will eventually need assisted living. They would like to stay home.”

Though for some, these needs are ongoing, some working people may need help while an elderly parent recovers from surgery or an injury. This could include light housework, meal preparation, driving for errands and companionship. Like childcare providing, you’ll need some rock-solid references.

Yard work.  “It’s definitely a summer need,” Consilio said. “We work with several larger cemeteries and they do a lot of maintenance throughout the summer.”

Many home and business owners also need more help this time of years.

Camp worker. Another good job for outdoorsy types, a camp counselor needs skills such as teaching, leadership, and planning, which can segue into numerous career paths.

“We have positions at summer camps that they’re looking for adult counselors to work with children on projects like art or hiking or swimming,” Consilio said. “It might appeal to people looking into teaching or athletic careers.”

Wait staff. But only if you go for a high-end restaurant. Tips commensurate with bigger tabs. While hosting may seem a step up from serving, many restaurants let only servers get tips, so serving pays more. If the place lets you perform some planning and leading, hosting may be better for you if money isn’t a huge motivator.

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